Criteo’s Andy Stephen on Retail Media, Kroger-Albertsons, and Walmart

On this week's episode of TheMadTech Podcast, Criteo’s managing director, UK Andy Stephen joins ExchangeWire's Anne-Marie Sheedy and Rachel Smith to discuss retail media, the proposed USD$2.4bn (~£2bn) merger of Kroger and Albertsons, and Walmart's newly launched e-commerce platform 'Walmart Creator'.


Issues hinder retail media efforts

How prevalent are these issues? How can retail media partners and marketers collaborate to resolve them?

Despite being touted as the next big thing for digital marketing, retail media is proving a tricky space for some marketers. Almost half of US marketers (47%) say that new data and privacy regulation is impeding their ability to develop their retail media arms, whilst 30% state that the structure of their organisation is not conducive to sharing insights and data effectively, with over a third reporting an absence of standardised measurement metrics.

Over a third of marketers (37%) report that their retail media partners are neglecting to help them overcome key challenges, with the numbers saying they don’t trust the accuracy or the quality of their partners’ data  standing at 37% and 34% respectively. 

Despite this, retail media is only expected to rise, with Insider Intelligence predicting the space to grow 31.4% to over USD $40bn (~£34.6bn) by 2022. 


Kroger and Albertsons union could shake up US retail media

What impact could this merger have on the retail media space if it is successful? How do you anticipate concerns around competition could affect Kroger and Albertsons’ aspirations?

US supermarket Kroger is set to merge with Albertsons after offering to buy its competitor for USD $24.6bn (~£21.7bn). If successful, the tie up could disrupt the US retail media landscape, which is currently dominated by global juggernaut Amazon, with Walmart in second spot.

Whilst Albertsons only launched their retail media offering last November, Kroger made their debut into the retail media space with the acquisition of Dunnhumby USA in 2015. This was followed by the launch of its precision marketing arm in 2017, which delivers targeted ads across apps and websites.

In a statement, the two companies said that the merged entity will be able to “reach an expanded national audience of approximately 85 million households nationwide”. However, US senators have expressed concern over the impact the deal could have on market competition. The companies have attempted to assuage these fears by announcing plans for an Albertsons subsidiary called “SpinCo”, though it’s unclear whether this will be enough to prevent further scrutiny.


Walmart launches new creator-focused e-commerce platform

Does the launch of Walmart Creator signal a larger move towards embracing social commerce? How might Walmart Creator’s impact influencer marketing on a wider scale? 

American retailer Walmart has moved further into e-commerce by launching Walmart Creator, a new platform allowing the retailer to collaborate directly with influencers.

Walmart Creator will give partnered creators and influencers  “access to tens of thousands of products”, according to the company. Influencers will be able to share links to Walmart products to any social media platform or group, be recommended products based on their interests, and receive performance data to help grow their followings. Partners will also be able to “earn revenue all while earning commissions on sales they refer”, with no cap.

By launching Walmart Creator, the company hopes to “help fuel inspiration for our customers by connecting their favourite creators directly with our brand and the brands they love at Walmart”, according to Walmart US’ chief marketing office, William White. 

A beta version of Walmart Creator will launch in Autumn 2022, with the platform going fully live in 2023.